For weeks Sweden’s rumour mill has been churning out suspected Melodifestivalen 2016 artists (see here, here, and here for starters). Sweden’s SVT has finally separate fact from fiction by confirming the 28 acts who have made it to Europe’s glitziest and sexiest national selection. The line-up includes some of Sweden’s hottest artists, Melfest legends, as well as newcomers. Let’s take a look.
MELODIFESTIVALEN 2016: Semi-final 1 (Gothenburg)
Mimi Werner with “Ain’t No Good”
Mimi Werner is a relative of Swedish 1998 representative Jill Johnson. Mimi has just released her debut single “Forever Again”, featuring American singer Josh Jenkins. Mimi has written her song together with Göran Werner, Marcus Svedin and Jason Saenz.
Samir & Viktor with “Bada Nakna”
The duo were one of the break-out stars of Melodifestivalen 2015. Their song “Groupie” might have only placed eighth in the Melodifestivalen final, but it was a massive hit in Sweden, peaking at No.3 and spending 24 weeks in the chart. They had another hit with their follow-up single “Saxof*ckingfon”. Their song is written by Fredrik Kempe, David Kreuger and Anderz Wrethov.
Robin Bengtsson with “Constellation Price”
Robin Bengtsson placed third in the 2008 series of Swedish Idol, and became known for his rock style. Since 2013 he’s used the stage name B Robin and has moved in a new direction with his 2014 single “Fired”. His song is written by Bobby Ljunggren, Henrik Wikström, Mark Hole and Martin Eriksson.
Ace Wilder with “Don’t Worry”
Ace Wilder caused a fuss at #Melfest2014 with her song “Busy Doin’ Nothin'”. She won the jury vote but eventually Sanna Nielsen secured her Melfest victory by only two points. Ace has since released the singles “Riot” and “Stupid”. Ace has written her song herself together with Joy Deb, Linnea Deb and Anton Hård af Segerstad.
Anna Book with “Himmel för två”
Singer and TV host Anna Book will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of her first Melfest appearance, where she placed fifth with “ABC” in 1986. Anna also entered the following year with “Det finns en morgondag”, and made a comeback 20 years later in 2007 with “Samba Sambero”, where she placed ninth in the final. Anna competed on the 2006 series of Let’s Dance where she came second to Måns Zelmerlöw. Her song is written by Sven-Inge Sjöberg, Lennart Wastesson, Larry Forsberg and popular Swedish crime writer Camilla Läckberg.
Pernilla Andersson with “Mitt guld”
Pernilla has an accomplished music career, with eight albums to her credit. She competed at Mello 2011 with her self-written song “Desperados”. It made it as far as the Andra Chansen round where she lost to The Moniker. The song is written by Pernilla herself together with Fredrik Rönnqvist.
Albin & Mattias Andréasson with “Rik”
Albin Johnsén dominated Swedish charts with his massive hit “Din soldat” in 2014 together with Kristin Amparo. He also featured as a songwriter in Melfest 2015, co-writing (along with Måns Zelmerlöw) the Behrang Miri feat. Victor Crone song “Det rår vi inte för” (“We can’t help it”), which made it to the Andra Chansen round. Mattias Andréasson has competed in Melodifestivalen twice before. In 2009, as part of the boy band EMD, he entered with “Baby Goodbye” which placed third. He entered again as a solo artist in 2012 with “Förlåt mig” (“Forgive me”), which did not qualify for the final. They have written their song together.
MELODIFESTIVALEN 2016: Semi-final 2 (Malmö)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKmDfKv2VRc Victor och Natten with “100%”
Up-and-coming rapper Victor och Natten is making his Melfest debut. So far he has released few singles and the song “Svin på rutin” has over 4 million streams on Spotify. The song “100%” is written by Dag Lundberg, Nicklas Lif and Jesper Lundh.
Krista Siegfrids with “Faller”
Krista represented Finland in Malmö back in 2013 with “Marry Me”. She will also host Finland’s Eurovision 2015 selection Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu (UMK) next year. She turned down Melodifestivalen last year, but is making her debut this year as the second Finn to ever compete in Melodifestivalen. This time she will sing in Swedish. Krista wrote her song herself with help of Gabriel Alares, Magnus Wallin and Gustag Svenungsson.
Molly Pettersson Hammar with “Hunger”
Molly Pettersson Hammar got her break on Idol 2011 where she placed fourth. She made a big impact in Melfest 2015 with her show-stopping anthem “I’ll Be Fine”, but Pettersson Hammar shockingly missed out on making the final, thought to be a result of technical issues with the controversial Melodifestivalen app. Earlier this year she released her follow-up single “Something Right”. Molly has written her song herself together with Joy Deb, Linnea Deb and Anton Hård af Segerstad.
Tommy Nilsson, Patrik Isaksson & Uno Svenningsson with “Håll mit hjärta hårt”
Tommy fronted the Swedish prog rock band Horizont in the late 1970s before joining sleaze metal band Easy Action. He placed fourth for Sweden at Eurovision 1989 with the song “En Dag” (One Day). Patrick competed in Melfest in 2006 with “Faller Du Så Faller Jag” and in 2008 with “Under mitt tunna skinn”, and in Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in 2012, where he reached the super final with “Venter”. In 2001 his album Tillbaks på ruta 1 topped the Swedish charts. In 2007 Uno reached the second chance round of Melodifestivalen with “God morgon”, but lost to Sonja Alden in the first heat. The three fellas have written their song together.
Isa with “I Will Wait”
At the age of 16, Isa was one of the break-out stars of Melfest 2015 with her sassy track “Don’t Stop”. She made it to the final where she placed seventh. After Melfest she released the singles, “Oh My” and “Drum & Bass“. The song is written by Mexican-American pop singer Nikki Flores together with Anton Hård af Segerstad, Joy Deb and Linnea Deb, who won the contest with “Heroes” this year.
Wiktoria with “Save Me”
19-year-old Wiktoria debuts in Melodifestivalen this year. Her song “Save Me” is written by Jens Siverstedt, Jonas Wallin and Lauren Dyson.
David Lindgren with “We Are Your Tomorrow”
David Lindgren has competed in Melfest twice before. In 2012 he entered with “Shout It Out” which placed fourth in the final. The following year he placed eighth in the final with “Skyline”. The song “We Are Your Tomorrow” is written by Anderz Wrethov and Gustav Efraimsson together with Sharon Vaughn, whose catalogue include “Waterline” by Jedward.
MELODIFESTIVALEN 2016: Semi-final 3 (Norrköping)
Oscar Zia with “Human”
After getting his start on the X Factor, Oscar Zia made his Melodifestivalen debut in 2013 as a backing vocalist on Behrang Miri’s song “Jalla Dansa Sawa”, which didn’t make it past the second-chance round. In 2014 he entered as a solo artist with “Yes We Can” which placed eighth in the final. Later went released his debut album I Don’t Know How to Dance. He wrote his song himself together with Maria Smith and Victor Thell. SaRaHa with “Kizunguzungu”
SaRaha is the Swedish-born, Tanzania-raised Sara Larsson, who has been making a name for herself with her take on Afropop. In the past, her song lyrics have been in Swahili, but this year she’s started recording in Swedish, with her single “Yerere” mixing up Afropop sounds with a Swedish pop sensibility. The song is written by Sara “SaRaHa” Larsson herself together with Anderz Wrethov and Arash Labaf, who represented Azerbaijan in 2009.
After Dark with “Kom ut som en stjärna”
Drag act After Dark have been performing since 1976 and will celebrate their 40th anniversary with a Mello entry. They have competed in Melfest twice before. In 2004 they entered with “La dolce vita”, which placed third in the final. They returned in 2007 with the innuendo-laden “(Åh) När ni tar saken i egna händer”, but did not progress from the semi-final. Their song is written by Sven-Inge Sjöberg, Lenart Wastesson, Larry Forsberg, Lina Eriksson, Kent Sippan Olsson and Calle Kindbom.
Lisa Ajax with “My Heart Wants Me Dead”
17-year-old Lisa Ajax is no stranger to the Globe Arena. Last year in that location she was crowned the winner of the 10th series of Idol. She recently released her new single, the defiant dance track “Blue Eyed Girl”. 2016 will be her Melfest debut. Her song is written by the team behind “Heroes” — Linnea Deb, Joy Deb and Anton Hård af Segerstad, who have four songs in this year’s Melfest.
Boris René with “Put Your Love On Me”
Congolese-born footballer Boris is best known as a defender for Degerfors IF, but when he’s not on the field, he is developing his career as an alternative pop singer. He released the single “Alive” in 2013. He has written his song himself together with Tobias Lundgren and Tim Larsson.
SMILO with “Weight of the World”
SMILO — previously known as Smajling Swedes — are a three-piece electropop group who came to Melfest via the Svensktoppen Nästa competition where they competed with “Goosebumps”. While Michael Fallon won the competition itself, SMILO were selected by the jury to get the Eurovision wildcard entry. Their song is written by Arvid Ångström, Dennis Babic, Oscar Berglund Juhola, Anton Göransson and Robin Danielsson.
Swingfly feat. Helena Gutarra with “You Carved Your Name”
American-born Swedish rapper Swingfly had a No.2 hit single with his 2011 Melfest song “Me and My Drum”. The song placed fifth in the final. He will be joined by Helena Gutarra, who reached the finals of The Voice Sverige in 2012. The song is written by Jocke Åhlund and Andreas Kleerup.
MELODIFESTIVALEN 2016: Semi-final 4 (Gävle)
Martin Stenmarck with “Du tar mig tillbaks”
Martin will be making his third appearance in Melfest. His first entry was in 2005 where he won with “Las Vegas” which placed 19th with only 30 points in Kyiv – Sweden’s worst score since 1992. Martin make a comeback in 2014 with “När änglarna går hem” (“When the angels go home”), which lost against Linus Svenning’s “Bröder” in the Andra Chansen round. The song “Du tar mig tillbaks” is written by Martin’s brother David Stenmarck.
Panetoz with “Håll om mig hårt”
Panetoz have members from Gambia, Ethiopia, Angola, Congo and Finland-Sweden. Their fun song “Efter solsken” (After sunshine) make it direkt till final at Melodifestivalen 2014. Their song for Melodifestivalen 2016 is written by Jimmy Jansson, Karl-Ola Kjellholm, Jakke Erixson and the band members Pa Modou Badjie, Njol Badjie and Nebeyu Baheru.
Frans with “If I Were Sorry”
Frans is best known in Sweden for his song “Who’s Da Man”, a tribute to Zlatan Ibrahimovic ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which he recorded aged seven. One decade on, the now teenage Frans will be making his Melfest debut. As his performance on this recent car ad shows, he’s ready for Melfest. His song is written by Oscar Fögelström, Michael Saxell, Fredrik Andersson and Frans Jeppson Wall himself.
Linda Bengtzing with “Killer Girl”
Linda Bengtzing is a Melfest legend, having previously competed in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2014. She qualified for the final four times, with her best result being fifth place in 2008 for “Hur svårt kan det va?”. In 2014 there was also an odd rumour that the BBC were considering Linda for their 2015 entry. Linda has written the song herself together with Mathias Kallenberger, Andreas Berlin and Dag Öhrlund.
Dolly Style with “Rollercoaster”
The bubblegum pop trio consisting of Molly, Holly and Polly were one of the favourites at Melfest this year with their effervescent tune “Hello Hi”. But while they made it to the Andra Chansen round, “Hello Hi” lost to Dinah Nah’s “Make Me (La La La)”. The trio has since had some line-up changes, with Polly, then Molly leaving earlier in the year. But like the Sugababes, they simply replaced the departed members and kept on singing. Peter Boström and Alexandra Salomonsson have co-written the song together with Thomas G:son.
Eclipse with “Runaways”
Rock band Eclipse have been around since 1999 and are known for their “melodious hair rock”. With Minus One rocking for Cyprus, could 2016 be the year of rock? The song is written by the lead singer Erik Mårtensson.
Molly Sandén with “Youniverse”
Molly represented Sweden at Junior Eurovision in 2006 with her song “Det finaste någon kan få”. She also competed in Melodifestivalen in 2009 with “Så vill stjärnorna” where she placed last in the final, and again in 2012 with “Why Am I Crying?”, which placed fifth. Molly has since focused on her pop career, with her latest single being “Like No One’s Watching“. The song is written by Molly herself together with Danny Saucedo and John Alexis.